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COUNTRYWIDE OPENS COUNSELING CENTER TO HELP LOW AND MODERATE INCOME FAMILIES OWN HOMES

 House America(SM) Counselors Set Goals,
 Recommend Budgets for Potential Home Buyers
 PASADENA, Calif., Sept. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- To help more people become homeowners, Countrywide Funding Corp. has opened the House America Counseling Center. By calling a toll-free number, consumers can learn about home mortgage loans for low and moderate income buyers. Counselors will work with callers to determine "how much house" they can afford, and to recommend personalized budget plans to help them qualify for a home loan. To assist a broad spectrum of potential home buyers, the counseling staff is available at 800-577-3732, and is fluent in a variety of languages, including Spanish, Vietnamese, Cantonese and Mandarin.
 "Many consumers feel that home ownership is out of their reach, but we've found that if you provide information and counseling, many will discover that owning a home is a realistic goal," said Paul Ralser, director of House America, Countrywide's home loan program for low and moderate income buyers. "We are committed to helping more people own homes, and the Counseling Center's goal is to provide assistance and direction to make this possible."
 When a consumer calls the Counseling Center, a counselor will determine the caller's income-to-debt ratio. If the potential borrower prequalifies, the Center will send the person a Community Home Buyer's Education workbook (from the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae)) designed to familiarize them with the requirements of home ownership. Home buyers who complete the home loan education workbook will receive a certificate, which they will need to qualify under the House America program.
 If the caller does not prequalify for a home loan, the counselor will work with that individual to address whatever weakness may exist in his or her loan profile, in order to rectify the issue. Counselors follow the progress of their clients for up to one year, contacting them periodically, via phone and mail, to offer guidance until they can prequalify for a home loan.
 The counselors are available to callers throughout the country from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. PDT. The Counseling Center is an addition to House America, a divisional program of Countrywide, the nation's largest mortgage lender. House America's staff includes individuals who specialize in delivering loans under the program.
 Offered in conjunction with Fannie Mae, House America requires as little as a 3 percent down payment from a borrower's own funds, offers more flexible guidelines that traditional underwriting standards (in areas such as credit and employment history), requires less income to qualify, and has no cash reserve requirements after closing the loan.
 Countrywide Funding Corp. originates and services single-family home loans. Founded in 1969, Countrywide employs more than 4,000 people at its Pasadena headquarters and in more than 300 offices nationwide.
 -0- 9/17/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: A photo of a House America(SM) counselor is available via Wieck Photo DataBase to any newspaper or media outlet with telephoto receiver, or electronic darkroom that can accept overhead transmissions. To elecronically retrieve photo free of charge, call 214-416-3686./
 /CONTACT: Catherine Zimring, 818-666-3843, or Janet Otsuki, 818-666-4267/


CO: Countrywide Funding Corp. ST: California IN: FIN SU:

JB-LM -- LAFNS1 -- 2931 09/17/93 07:33 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 17, 1993
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